The advan­tages of teach­ing Busi­ness Stud­ies through farming

Jo Hatton, LEAF Education's South East REC was delighted to be asked to meet year 10 Business Studies students at Carter Community College earlier this year. The students were gathering data for their BTEC coursework and needed to interview a real life entrepreneur.

Whilst Jo didn't quite fit the bill, the wonderful Wakely Cox from nearby Warren Hill Farm was perfect. Wakely had put together a great PowerPoint presentation to help the students appreciate the different aspects of the farm, and brought along some props: the haylage was probably the most memorable! By the end of the session the students no longer believed that farmers 'kidnapped goats' and were engaged and enthusiastic about the role of the working farm within the world of business, the challenges of managing cash flow, predicting the markets and why farmers are always watching the weather.

Ms Sempa (class teacher) wrote on her evaluation form: "I was extremely delighted when I came across LEAF Education as I organised for businesses to visit my KS4 GCSE class. The session tied neatly into the curriculum providing an interactive experience for students to retrieve the relevant information for their coursework, whilst offering an insightful look into the activities that take place on a farm. The option for the session to take place on the farm’s facilities, or have the farm come into your classroom makes the experience accessible to all students. My students and I learnt so much; many misconceptions were cleared up and the students were highly engaged in the activities that brought elements of farming into the classroom.

LEAF Education have a clear understanding of the Business Studies syllabus, so were able to link the activities directly to our scheme of work; thus I cannot recommend enough how invaluable it would be to use one of their partnering farms as an example of businesses in the real world.

As a Business Studies teacher herself, Jo is on a mission to get as many Business Studies teachers as possible using the working farm as a case study to engage their students.